Elsie Goss didn't seem to mind the noise as she sat in her easy chair and watched out the sliding glass door as a team of volunteers from the Junior League and George P. Johnson tore down an old roof and hauled re-landscaped the backyard of her San Carlos home.
"This patio has seen better days," said 82-year-old Goss as pieces of metal roofing were shorn off the old patio and fell to the ground.
Goss, who suffers from arthritis and recently had open heart surgery said that a representative from Rebuilding Together (RBT) called and asked her if she'd like some work done at her house.
"I said of course they could come. In addition to the 40-year old patio, I had four-foot weeds in the backyard that I just couldn't tolerate and it was getting too depressing," said Goss.
On Saturday volunteers from schools, community service groups, corporate America and neighborhood associations from Daly City to Palo Alto--nearly 3000 in all--came out to help renovate and rehabilitate 67 buildings for neighbors in need as part of Rebuilding Together's National Rebuilding Day. Each project location was sponsored by a local business or agency.
In addition to homes, Rebuilding Together volunteers made repairs and renovations on schools, churches and community facilities.
In Burlingame, CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse),a facility used as a shelter for victims of domestic violence received fresh coat of paint and various repairs. In Palo Alto, the building on Cambridge Avenue got a fresh coat of paint. And in East Palo Alto, more than 100 volunteers arrived at the San Francisco 49er Academy middle school to install carpeting, furniture, light fixtures and bookshelves.
The 49er Academy project was sponsored by the International Facility Management Association Silicon Valley Chapter (IFMA-SV), who were instrumental in obtaining donations of everything from carpet to backpack hooks.
"We are facility managers, so we know everybody from professional painters and carpet layers to construction crews," said Bob Kraiss, a member of IFMA and the day's construction captain.
San Mateo resident Terry McDowell was out helping the volunteers crew replace windows and doors on the N. El Dorado Avenue home she shares with her mother.
"I am very pleased," said McDowell. "They worked very hard and even put in a new garage door." PG&E was the sponsor of McDowell's project, and most of the volunteers were PG&E employees.
RTP is the local affiliate to the national Rebuilding Together network, which completes over 10,000 repair projects across the United States each year. For more information, go to www.rebuildingtogetherpeninsula.org